Doctoral Dissertation

This page describes the general provisions regarding the format of dissertations, the criteria placed on dissertations by faculties, the pre-examination process of dissertations, the publishing of dissertations and the public defence.

These instructions are also available on the General regulations regarding degrees page in faculty-specific PDF files.

In some faculties, a dissertation must be advocated by the postgraduate education committee before it can be submitted for pre-examination. For more information on the duties and meeting schedules of the committees, please visit the Faculty websites.

Read more about supervision in doctoral studies (LINK).

Read more about:

Dissertation Form

Section 22 of the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004) and Sections 21, 22 and 26 of the Government Decree on University Degrees (1039/2013) lists the formal requirements for doctoral dissertations. All doctoral dissertations must meet these requirements.

To be awarded a doctoral degree, a doctoral student must write a dissertation and defend it in public.

A doctoral dissertation is a substantial scientific thesis based on independent research, and it must be defended publicly. If the dissertation is a monograph, the manuscript must be previously unpublished.

A doctoral dissertation must produce new scientific knowledge and demonstrate the author’s critical thinking, profound knowledge of the field and its methods, and ability to apply these methods. It can be a manuscript of an unpublished dissertation (a monograph), an integrated work composed of scientific publications or manuscripts approved for publication paired with a summary article (an article-based doctoral dissertation), or another type of work that fulfils the scientific criteria.

An article-based doctoral dissertation must form an integrated whole, and the objectives, methods and results of the study must be presented in the summary article. Such a work must include at least four articles (depending on their scope). Before the manuscript is submitted for preliminary examination, each article must be approved for publication in a peer-reviewed publication.

An article-based dissertation is made up of three parts: introduction, articles and conclusions. Each article must contain new results or introduce new points of view.

Publications may also include co-authored publications if the doctoral candidate’s independent contribution can be shown. The candidate must present a written clarification of his/her contribution to the collective research when the doctoral dissertation is submitted for preliminary examination. All the requirements concerning the doctoral dissertation apply not only to monographs but also to article-based dissertations. An article-based doctoral dissertation may not include parts of the candidate’s previous dissertation.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

An article-based dissertation must consist of a sufficient number of high-level publications that have been peer-reviewed by means of the referee procedure. A sufficient number is 3–5 articles, depending on the scope and level of the publication. In unclear situations, the Dean will decide upon the sufficient number after consulting the person responsible for the doctoral programme.

Artistic doctoral dissertation

An artistic doctoral dissertation consists of an artistic or practical portion and reflective portion. The artistic or practical portion may be either an independent artistic work or a series of works. Moreover, it may consist of tests and explorations of the artistic methods and concepts arising from one’s own work in some other manner, such as through a pedagogic approach. The artistic or practical work and related reflective portion must together form a whole that illustrates, supports and promotes the artist’s development. The reflective portion is prepared either in written form or in a form that combines a variety of media. An artistic dissertation can also be created as part of a group consisting of multiple researchers or doctoral students.

Artistic and practical portions forming part of an artistic doctoral dissertation are pre-examined in conjunction with their implementation. They must be performed or presented publicly and recorded in a sufficiently representative and technologically sound manner to enable their examination and assessment.

The reflective portion of the dissertation may be in Finnish or English.

Instead of an artistic work, the dissertation of a doctoral degree in theatre arts may also be a dissertation related to education in the field of theatre or to some other topic that is central to the work of an actor. In these cases, the general provisions and guidelines regarding dissertations, public defences and examinations apply.

Faculty of Education

Doctoral Dissertation (180 credits)

A doctoral dissertation is a study based on independent research that includes new scientific information. It is examined at a public defence.

The following forms can be approved as a dissertation: a uniform study (monograph) or a research compilation comprising scientific publications or article manuscripts that have been approved for publication and cover the same issues, plus as a summary based on them.

The dissertation can be written in Finnish, Swedish, English or another language approved by the Faculty of Education.
Article-based dissertation

An article-based doctoral dissertation consists of an introduction, 3–5 published articles or manuscripts approved for publication dealing with the same topic of inquiry, and a summarising report. The introductory chapter should outline the objectives and the theoretical and methodological bases of the study, and draw the articles together in order to demonstrate their coherence. The summarising report on the articles should present the findings and conclusions of the research and evaluate its social significance and contribution to the field in question.

The published articles or approved manuscripts should be provided as appendices after the summary report. Alternatively, the articles can be placed between the introduction and summary. At least three of the articles included in the dissertation must have been published or approved for publication in peer-reviewed journals or books. All of the published or approved articles must meet the requirements of scientific texts, and each article must contain new findings or perspectives in a separate examination. However, slight redundancies may be allowed in articles that cover subjects that are closely related. The collection may include co-authored publications, but the doctoral candidate must be the first author of at least three of the articles.

The author must submit the articles for pre-examination without edits or rewrites. Upon submission for pre-examination, the author must present a list of where the articles have been published or approved for publication. As regards co-authored publications, a written account of the role and responsibilities of the doctoral candidate must be presented in the same context. Before the permission to print can be granted, the researcher must indicate that he/she has been given the necessary permission to use the articles as part of the article-based dissertation’s summary report.

In evaluating a report intended to serve as an article-based dissertation, the pre-examiners present their assessment of the scientific level of the entire dissertation (articles and summary). The statement addresses whether or not the elements of the study form a sufficiently consistent and extensive work that meets the specifications of a doctoral dissertation.

Faculty of Management

Coming soon

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

A doctoral dissertation is an independent scientific thesis on a topic relevant to the degree. A dissertation can be a unified study (a monograph) or an integrated entity of scientific publications or manuscripts approved for publication paired with a summary article (an article-based dissertation).

A monograph is based on the previously unpublished results of independent research, and it is written by the doctoral student alone. In an article-based dissertation, the summary article must be written by the doctoral student, but the articles may be co-authored if the doctoral student's independent contribution can be shown. In general, an article may be published in one dissertation only, and it usually is the first author who publishes the article in his/her dissertation. If another author wants to include the article in his/her dissertation, each author and the dissertation supervisor must grant permission in writing. A dissertation may include articles published in another dissertation if there is a good reason for it. If a dissertation includes more than one article that has been published in two or more dissertations, the author must apply for permission from the committee before preliminary examiners are appointed.

If the same article is published in two or more dissertations, the doctoral students and their supervisors must submit a written report to committee before preliminary examiners are appointed. The report must describe the contribution of each student and be enclosed with the dissertation manuscript which is eventually sent to the preliminary examiners. An article may even be a systematic literature review if it produces new knowledge. The literature review may not, however, be exclusively descriptive: it must result in an analytical synthesis.

In principal, the doctoral candidate should be the first author in two articles. All articles included in a dissertation must be published or approved to be published in a reputable peer-reviewed scientific journal or book. The dissertation manuscript may be submitted for preliminary examination even though one of the three articles has not been approved for publication. When a doctoral student submits his/her manuscript to the committee, he/she must enclose a letter of approval for those articles which have been approved for publication but have not yet been published.

An article published as a part of a Master's thesis may be published as a part of a dissertation.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

A doctoral dissertation is an independent scientific thesis which must be defended in public.

A dissertation can be a unified study (a monograph) or an integrated entity of scientific publications or manuscripts approved for publication paired with a summary article (an article-based dissertation). The objectives, methods and results of the study must be presented in the summary article. Publications may include co-authored publications. If the publications include co-authored articles, the doctoral student must generally be responsible for significant contributions in them. The doctoral student must also submit to the Faculty a written account of his/her contribution to the publications. This account must be submitted when the manuscript is submitted for preliminary examination. The dissertation itself must also include an account of the author's contribution to co-authored publications.

An article-based dissertation must consist of an adequate number of high-quality publications which have been peer-reviewed.

All the requirements concerning the doctoral dissertation apply not only to a monograph but also to an article-based dissertation.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Doctoral Programmes in Health Sciences, Medicine and Epidemiology

An acceptable dissertation is either a monograph or an article-based dissertation.

An article-based dissertation consists of a number of scientific articles that form a consistent whole, as well as a summary of the articles. The summary portion must be written by the postgraduate student. However, the articles may be co-authored if the student's independent contribution can be clearly demonstrated. As a general rule, an article may be published in one dissertation only. An article may also be a systematic literature review if it produces new knowledge. The literature review may not, however, be exclusively descriptive: it must result in an analytical synthesis.

The articles forming the dissertation must be published in journals or books utilising a scientific peer review process (referee system). The Publication Forum website provides a tool for finding suitable publication channels. The site can also be used to check which journals are on Beall’s List. Articles published in journals on this list will not be accepted as articles for a dissertation since the journals do not observe good scientific publication practices.

A manuscript of the dissertation can be sent to the preliminary examiner even if one of the articles is pending publication approval but has been submitted for review.

As a general rule, an individual publication can be used as part of only one dissertation. For a justifiable reason, articles can be used in more than one dissertation but the postgraduates who use them must be able to clearly distinguish their own separate contribution in the articles. The first author has priority in terms of using an article. If an article is used in more than one dissertation, written consent must be obtained from all authors and the supervisor of the dissertation. In the event that a dissertation features more than one article used in other dissertations, approval must be obtained from the Postgraduate Committee before appointing the preliminary examiner. If the same article is published in two or more dissertations, the postgraduate students and their supervisors must submit a written report to the Postgraduate Committee before preliminary examiners are appointed. The report must describe the contribution of each student and must be enclosed with the dissertation manuscript that is eventually sent to the preliminary examiners.

The range of articles may include an article published as part of the postgraduate student’s master’s thesis.

A monograph dissertation is an independent scientific study which is the product of the personal efforts of the doctoral researcher in question, written by him/her alone. It is based on previously unpublished research results. The scientific data or results presented as new in a monograph may not originate from any other sources.

Doctoral Programmes in Philosophy, History, Psychology and Logopedics and Social Sciences

The doctoral dissertation is a substantial scientific thesis based on independent scientific work. The thesis is published as a doctoral dissertation with the consent of the Faculty Council, and then defended in a public examination.

A doctoral dissertation can be

a) a manuscript of an unpublished dissertation (a monograph)

b) at least three high-quality scientific publications or manuscripts approved for publication, which constitute an integrated entity, and a summary of them. The candidate must have the main responsibility for writing the above-mentioned three articles and for conducting the study.

Dissertation Language

The dissertation can be written in Finnish or a foreign language. Faculty-specific instructions are provided below.

Some faculties also award proofreading grants when the dissertation is written in a foreign language (this does not apply to students of doctoral programmes in languages). The practices of awarding proofreading grants can be found on the Grants page.

 

Faculty of Communication Sciences

The introduction of the dissertation or article-based thesis must be written in Finnish, Swedish, English or some other language, as agreed upon in the study and supervision plan. The language of the manuscript must match that of the dissertation. An article-based dissertation may include publications written in a variety of languages. The author of the dissertation must ensure that the manuscript text is impeccable in terms of its language. A Finnish dissertation must be appended with a short (2–3 pages) English abstract, whereas dissertations in other languages must include an abstract in Finnish. The public defence must be conducted in Finnish, the language of the dissertation or another language, as agreed upon by the doctoral candidate and custos with the opponent.

Faculty of Education

 The dissertation can be written in Finnish, Swedish, English or another language approved by the Faculty of Education.

Faculty of Management

Lisensiaatintutkimuksen  ja  väitöskirjan  voi  kirjoittaa  suomeksi,  ruotsiksi,  englanniksi  tai  tiedekuntaneuvoston  hyväksymällä  muulla  kielellä. Suomenkielisessä  väitöskirjassa tulee olla tiivistelmä suomeksi ja englanniksi. Muussa kuin suomenkielisessä väitöskirjassa tulee olla väitöskirjan kielellä olevan tiivistelmän lisäksi suomenkielinen tiivistelmä.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

The dissertation must be well written. If the committee considers it necessary, it may require proofreading.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

The dissertation may be written in Finnish, Swedish or English, or, with the consent of the School, in another language. The manuscript must be written in the same language as the dissertation.

The author of the dissertation must ensure that the manuscript's language is correct and impeccable.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Doctoral Programmes in Health Sciences, Medicine and Epidemiology
 

Doctoral Programmes in Philosophy, History, Psychology and Logopedics and Social Sciences

The dissertation should be written in Finnish, Swedish or English, or, with the consent of the Faculty, in some other language. The manuscript for the dissertation must be written in the same language as the dissertation itself. The author of the dissertation is responsible for the impeccability of the manuscript's language. The language must be revised prior to submitting the manuscript for the preliminary examination.

Preliminary Examination

A dissertation is examined in two phases: the pre-examination and the public defence.

In accordance with the decision of the Rector of the University of Tampere, the originality of all doctoral dissertations and licentiate theses submitted for pre-examination is checked using Turnitin plagiarism checker software. An entry of the examination procedure is made in the thesis. See instructions on the use of the system.

Before the commencement of the examination process, the doctoral student must ensure that he/she holds the copyrights to the images, tables and other materials contained in the dissertation or has obtained permission to publish such materials online (for example, the articles of an article‑based dissertation). A doctoral candidate should also study the guide on publishing a dissertation sufficiently early on. The guide is available on the Library website.

Information regarding copyrights can be found on the following websites, for example: Ministy of Education , and Kopiosto.

The doctoral student must be registered as present for the entire duration of the examination process.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

Please see pre-examination instructions for artistic dissertations below.

For the purpose of applying for a permission to defend the dissertation, the dissertation manuscript must be submitted to the study services in three complete and filed copies as well as a PDF file. If your dissertation consists of articles and a summary, deliver the compiled work for pre-examination in three filed copies.

Before submitting the dissertation manuscript for examination, the student must ensure from the supervisor of the study that the work is in a condition that warrants submission for examination. The originality of the manuscript is checked with the Turnitin software, and the Turnitin report reviewed by the supervisor is delivered to the faculty’s study services. An entry of the examination procedure is made in the dissertation. Questions regarding the manuscript submission schedule can be presented to the faculty staff members who handle matters related to postgraduate studies. The doctoral candidate must ensure that all the requisite study attainments and modules have been recorded in the study register, if they have not been completed in conjunction with the licentiate degree.

The pre-examiners for the dissertation are assigned by the Dean based on the joint proposal of the supervisor and the person responsible for the doctoral programme. Before the selection of the pre-examiners, the author is afforded the opportunity to provide grounds for the possible disqualification of the proposed pre-examiners.

At least two pre-examiners are assigned for the dissertation. They must be independent of the Faculty of Communication Sciences, in addition to which one of them must be independent of the University of Tampere. The pre-examiners must have at least a docent’s title or equivalent academic merits. For a justified reason, a person who has completed a doctoral degree but is not a docent can be selected as the other pre-examiner. Of the pre-examiners of a dissertation in theatre arts, at least one must have a doctoral degree, while the other can be an accomplished artist without a doctoral degree.

The purpose of the pre-examination process is to ensure that the dissertation manuscript meets the scientific/artistic and formal requirements set for the highest-level academic theses. The pre-examination is also a phase in which the faculty and its assigned pre-examiners can influence the merits of the dissertation. The duty of the pre-examiners is to provide the faculty with their statement of whether or not the scientific merits of the manuscript warrant granting permission to present it as a dissertation. In the case of an article-based thesis, the pre-examination statement must indicate whether or not the compilation forms a complete work that meets the criteria of a doctoral dissertation. If the pre-examination statement is negative, the pre-examination process can be discontinued on request of the doctoral student. If the process has been discontinued, it can be restarted when the person responsible for the doctoral programme grants permission to do so. This procedure applies to the pre-examination process of the academic dissertation manuscript and the artistic dissertation manuscript as well as the related artistic works.

In their statements, the pre-examiners must apply the dissertation evaluation criteria. The pre-examiners can also suggest corrections to the author, but these corrections may not be a precondition for granting permission to defend the dissertation. The statement must be either positive or negative, not conditional. As a general rule, the statement must be issued within six weeks of the pre-examiner receiving the dissertation. If necessary, an extension to this can be negotiated with the pre-examiner. The Faculty Council decides on whether or not to grant the permission to defend the dissertation based on the statements of the pre-examiners. Before the Faculty Council review, the author of the study intended as a dissertation is afforded the opportunity to respond to the pre-examination statements. Questions regarding the schedule of the manuscript examination can be directed to the faculty’s study services. A manuscript that has undergone pre-examination may only be changed in ways that have been proposed by the pre-examiners or agreed upon with them.

All official dealings pertaining to the pre-examination are handled through the faculty’s study services. The pre-examiner must submit the statement directly to the study services office, which sends the statements, once they have all arrived, to the doctoral student, supervisors and the person responsible for the doctoral programme for information.

Artistic dissertations

Pre-examination of the artistic portion

The doctoral candidate must submit an updated research plan to the pre-examiners of the artistic portion. The research plan must include a preliminary description of all the artistic or practical portions to be implemented over the course of the doctoral research.

The candidate must, no later than two weeks before the performance, provide the pre-examiners with a written description of how the performance is related to the dissertation and its research problems. The doctoral candidate is responsible for ensuring that the performance is videoed at a sufficient level of quality or documented in some other way.

The examination event is public. Its nature depends on the dissertation in question.

The pre-examiner conducts the evaluation based on the materials provided in advance (research plan and description of the portion to be examined) and the actual experience of the performance. The following questions can be used to assist the evaluation:

  • Does the artistic portion address the issues that the candidate claims it does?
  • What new or original elements does the artistic portion bring to light in relation to acting in general or a specific aspect of performing arts?
  • In what way does the artistic portion highlight phenomena or events that are essential to research?
  • To what extent is it appropriate and interesting in terms of the practices and research in the field?
  • Does it produce something new and original in relation to them?
  • In what ways does the artistic portion indicate mastery of the selected research methods or the ability to develop them further?
  • How does the artistic portion relate to the dissertation as a whole?

If they so desire, the pre-examiners may present the candidate with questions after the performance of the artistic work. The pre-examiners will deliver their written examination statement to the Faculty of Communication Sciences within one month.

It is the duty of the pre-examiner to evaluate whether or not the artistic portion can be accepted as the artistic or practical portion of the dissertation as it is or with minor corrections. In their justified written statement, the pre-examiners must clearly propose either the approval or rejection of the portion. The statement cannot be conditional. If the pre-examination statement is negative, the pre-examination process can be discontinued on request of the doctoral student. In the event that the pre-examination process is discontinued, it can be recommenced if permission is granted by the supervisors. The Faculty Council will decide on the permission to defend the dissertation once all artistic portions and the written portion have been pre-examined.

Pre-examination of the written portion

The doctoral student must receive permission from the supervisor of the dissertation before submitting the written portion for pre-examination. At this point, all other studies encompassed by the doctoral degree must be complete. The originality of the manuscript is checked with the Turnitin software, and the Turnitin report reviewed by the supervisor is delivered to the faculty’s study services. An entry of the examination procedure is made in the dissertation. Questions regarding the manuscript submission schedule can be presented to the faculty staff members who handle matters related to postgraduate studies. The written portion is submitted to the faculty’s study services in three filed copies and a PDF file. Three copies of recordings of the artistic portions are to be submitted at the same time.

As a general rule, the pre-examiners of the artistic portion also pre-examine the written portion. The pre-examiners of the written portion must provide their written statement to the faculty staff member managing postgraduate affairs within three months of receiving the task. The recommended length of the statement is 3–5 pages.

The primary task of the pre-examiner is to evaluate whether or not the manuscript can be accepted as the written portion of the dissertation in its present form or with minor corrections. The pre-examiners must clearly propose that the permission to defend the dissertation is either granted or denied, i.e. state whether or not the manuscript meets the minimum requirements as it is or with minor corrections. The statement may not be conditional. The Faculty Council decides on whether or not to grant the permission to defend the thesis based on the pre-examiners’ statements on the artistic and written portions. Before the matter is addressed, the student must be afforded the opportunity to respond to the pre-examiners’ statements. If the pre-examination statement is negative, the pre-examination process can be discontinued on request of the doctoral student. In the event that the pre-examination process is discontinued, it can be recommenced if permission is granted by the supervisors.

Faculty of Education

Doctoral dissertation’s pre-examination process

The dissertation manuscript must be submitted to the study coordinator of the Faculty of Education as a single file in PDF format (see also Practical instructions for doctoral candidates.

In conjunction with the submission of the manuscript, the supervisor will provide a signed report on the Turnitin verification to the study administration.

Pre-examiners

After discussion with the research supervisor, the Faculty Council or – pursuant to the delegation decision of the Faculty – the Dean of the Faculty appoints the pre-examiners for the piece of research intended to serve as a dissertation. At least two pre-examiners must be appointed for the dissertation. Both pre-examiners must be independent of the Faculty and, furthermore, one must be independent of the University of Tampere. At least one of the examiners must have a Docent’s degree or equivalent academic merits, and the other must have a doctoral degree. The supervisor of the dissertation may not serve as a pre-examiner for the work. The provisions set forth in Sections 27 and 28 of the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003) apply regarding the disqualification of pre-examiners. The author of the dissertation must be afforded the opportunity to provide a response before the selection of the pre-examiners.

Pre-examination

The purpose of the pre-examination is to ensure that the manuscript meets the scientific and formal requirements for dissertations before permission to publish is granted. The pre-examiners are requested to provide a written statement on whether or not the academic merits of the manuscript warrant permission for it to be published as a doctoral dissertation. The pre-examiners may also write a joint statement.

The statement of the pre-examiners must be a justified, written statement that addresses the following aspects:

General nature of the research

  • Scientific discourse to which the research is related.

Research subject and question

  • Scientific importance, informational value, originality and currency.

Familiarity with the field of research

  • Scope of the literature review and the consistency and sufficiency of the content; currency and comprehensiveness of the literature references; critical grasp of the pertinent literature;
  • Previous studies on the same subject; ability to identify the merits and shortcomings of previous publications;

  • Author’s share of the planning and implementation of the research.

Theoretical mastery of the subject and conceptual clarity

Methods

  • Reliability of the methods; assessment of reliability;

  • Methodological perspective and suitability; originality and difficulty.

Source material

  • Quality and scope of the source material and its suitability for resolving the research problem;

  • Material collection process and the author’s role in the further processing of the material.

Ethicality of the research

Findings and conclusions

  • Assessment of the reliability, novelty value and scientific significance of the findings.

Maturity demonstrated in the reasoning and conclusions portion

  • Pertinence, criticality and clarity of the reasoning portion.

Structuring, presentation and form of the study

  • Consistency, style and language.

As a final statement, the pre-examiners must recommend the publication of the study as a doctoral dissertation or indicate that they will not provide the recommendation (the grounds are presented in the statement).

Generally, the pre-examiners provide their statements within three months. In the statement, the pre-examiners can propose that the permission to publish be granted or denied, but conditional decisions are not allowed. A manuscript that has undergone pre-examination may only be changed in ways that have been proposed by the pre-examiners or agreed upon with them. However, this does not apply to the correction of typos or similar discrepancies.

The pre-examiners’ statements on the dissertation manuscript must be provided to the author for information and he/she must be afforded an opportunity to submit a response to these statements (Section 44 of the Universities Act (558/2009).

Faculty of Management

Väitöskirja  voidaan  jättää viralliseen  esitarkastukseen,  kun  väitöskirjan  ohjaaja/ohjaajat ja oppialan edustaja puoltavat esitarkastuksen käynnistämistä. Väitöskirjaksi aiottu käsikirjoitus on esitarkastusta ja julkaisuluvan saamista varten jätettävä johtamiskorkeakoulun kansliaan kolmena  täydellisenä  kappaleena, joista kaksi sidottuna tai kansioituna. Esitarkastukseen jätetyn käsikirjoituksen on oltava myös esitysteknisesti ja kieliasultaan viimeistelty.

Tiedekuntaneuvosto määrää tutkimukselle vähintään kaksi, pääsääntöisesti oman yliopiston ulkopuolista  esitarkastajaa. Väitöskirjatyön ohjaaja ei  voi toimia esitarkastajana eikä vastaväittäjänä. Esitarkastajilla tulee pääsääntöisesti olla vähintään dosentin pätevyys tai muulla tavoin osoitetut vastaavantasoiset tieteelliset ansiot. Esitarkastajia pyydetään antamaan perusteltu kirjallinen lausuntonsa siitä, katsovatko he käsikirjoituksella olevan sellainen tieteellinen arvo, että lupa sen julkaisemiseen väitöskirjana voidaan antaa.

Väitöskirjan tekijälle on ennen esitarkastajien ja vastaväittäjän valintaa varattava tilaisuus antaa lausuntonsa esitarkastajien tai vastaväittäjän esteellisyydestä.

Johtamiskorkeakoulun ohjeet esitarkastajille (LINKKI)

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

The committee proposes at least two docent-level preliminary examiners in the dissertation's field to the Dean, and the Dean appoints them. The preliminary examiners should not work at the University of Tampere. If there is a good reason to allow it, one of the preliminary examiners may be a docent at the University of Tampere, but even in this case his/her main position must be elsewhere. Preliminary examiners must be objective and they may not have published co-authored publications with the student or the supervisor(s) in the previous three years. After finished examination, preliminary examiners submit a report which indicates whether they consider the manuscript ready for publication. The report should be submitted not later than two months after the examination process began.

Before submitting their final reports, preliminary examiners may require the author to revise the language or form of the dissertation, change its factual content, or conduct further examinations or control studies. A preliminary examiner's report must clearly indicate whether or not the examiner recommends that the student be granted permission to publish and publicly defend the manuscript as a doctoral dissertation: this indication may not be conditional in any way. If a preliminary examiner requires revisions, he/she must subsequently submit a second, final report on the revised manuscript.

The purpose of this preliminary examination is to ensure that the manuscript meets the formal and scientific criteria for the most advanced academic theses. Preliminary examination usually also improves the quality of writing. A preliminary examiner's report should clearly indicate whether or not he/she thinks the research for the dissertation is adequate or whether further examination is needed. The report should contain or comment on the following:

  1. An overview of the dissertation: A brief description of the dissertation's content and main findings.
  2. Independent contribution: How great is the author's independent contribution to planning and conducting the study?
  3. Topic and research questions: How scientifically valuable, original, current and significant are the topic and research questions for future application? How many previous studies have been conducted on the topic?
  4. Knowledge of the research field: Is the literature review balanced and extensive enough? Are the references recent and comprehensive? Does the author review literature critically and point out the strengths and weaknesses of previous studies?
  5. Data: Is the data of high quality, is there enough of it and is it applicable to the study? Is the comparison material suitable? Has the data been collected well? Has the author personally collected the data? What was the author's role in processing it?
  6. Methods: How reliable, applicable, original and challenging are the methods used? Has the author developed new methods or significantly improved existing methods to better fit the study? Is the dissertation based on information extracted from existing data or from routine determinations? Is the statistical analysis of the results adequate? Are the chosen statistical methods applicable to the study?
  7. Results and conclusions: Does the author assess the reliability, novelty value and scientific significance of the results? Does the study confirm previous results or does it produce new significant findings? Are the conclusions justified? Can the results be applied in the field of health sciences?
  8. The quality of the discussion: Is the discussion objective, critical and clear? Did the author analyse the strengths and weaknesses of his/her work and critically compare it to the literature? Do his/her conclusions support the research questions, results and previous knowledge?
  9. Presentation and the communication of ideas: Is the structure logical and balanced? Are the style, language and form appropriate and complete?


At the end, the report must clearly indicate whether or not the preliminary examiner recommends that the student be granted permission to publish and publicly defend the manuscript as a doctoral 14 dissertation. In addition to their reports, preliminary examiners must submit grade proposals on a separate form.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

Before submitting his/her manuscript, a student must make certain that his/her supervisor considers the dissertation to be ready for examination. A student must also ensure that he/she has completed all the studies listed in his/her personal study and supervision plan before submitting the manuscript.

To obtain permission to defend it as a doctoral dissertation, the student must submit the manuscript to the Faculty Office in three complete paper copies that are either bound or in a binder.

All doctoral dissertations must undergo a plagiarism check conducted by the Turnitin Originality Check programme. The printed thesis will contain a sentence stating that the check has been done.

The student's supervisor usually proposes preliminary examiners after a discussion with the author. The Faculty will appoint a minimum of two preliminary examiners who must at least be docents. As a rule, the examiners should not be from the University of Tampere. Before the opponents are appointed, the author of the dissertation is given an opportunity to comment on the potential unacceptability of the prospective examiners.

Preliminary examiners are asked to submit a written report on whether the manuscript has such scientific value that permission to defend it as a doctoral dissertation may be granted. If the dissertation is article-based, the preliminary examiners' reports must also indicate whether the themes of the separate publications comprise an integrated set of problems. A preliminary examiner's report must clearly indicate whether or not the examiner recommends that the student be granted the permission to publish and publicly defend the manuscript as a doctoral dissertation; the indication may not be conditional in any way. After the preliminary examination, only changes suggested by or agreed on with the examiners can be made to the manuscript. Typing errors and the like may, however, be corrected. The Faculty Office will respond to any questions regarding the schedule of the evaluation process.

The supervisor may not act as a preliminary examiner or an opponent of the student. Preliminary examiners may ordinarily not act as opponents. General guidelines on disqualification due to the likelihood of bias must also be considered.

Faculty instructions for pre-examiners (LINK)

Faculty of Social Sciences

Doctoral Programmes in Health Sciences, Medicine and Epidemiology

Once the manuscript has been approved for submission for preliminary examination, the doctoral candidate must send the manuscripts to the preliminary examiners. The examination instructions for the preliminary examiners are provided by the Head of Study Affairs.

In accordance with the preliminary examination instructions (see above), the preliminary examiners issue a report on the dissertation manuscript to the Faculty for the purpose of granting permission for publication. The preliminary examination should be conducted within two months.

Before submitting their final reports, preliminary examiners may require the author to revise the language or form of the dissertation, change its factual content, and conduct further examinations or control studies. A preliminary examiner's report must clearly indicate whether or not the examiner recommends that the student be granted permission to publish and publicly defend the manuscript as a doctoral dissertation. This indication may not be conditional in any way. The report may include minor correction suggestions but none that are be presented as a precondition to the permission for defence being granted.

The purpose of this preliminary examination is to ensure that the manuscript meets the formal and scientific criteria for the most advanced academic theses. Preliminary examination usually also improves the quality of writing. A preliminary examiner's report should clearly indicate whether or not he/she thinks the research for the dissertation is adequate or whether further research is needed. The preliminary examination report should contain or comment on the following:

1 ) An overview of the dissertation: a brief description of the dissertation's content and main findings.

2 ) Independent contribution: How great is the author's independent contribution to planning and conducting the study?

3 ) Topic and research questions: How scientifically valuable, original, current and significant are the topic and research questions for future application? How clear are the research question and does the dissertation answer them?

4 ) Knowledge of the research field: is the literature review balanced and extensive enough? Are the references recent and comprehensive? Does the author review literature critically, introduce concepts well, describe why research is needed, cover key content, and point out the strengths and weaknesses of previous studies and approaches?

5 ) Data: Is the data of high quality, is there enough of it and is it suitable for the processing of the research problem? Does the material provide a good basis for answering the research questions? What is the author’s contribution to obtaining the material?

6 ) Methods: Are the methods suitable for resolving the research problem and can answers to the questions be reached b based on them? Have the methods been applied 15 appropriately? Does the researcher understand the possibilities and limitations of his/her methods?

7 ) Results and conclusions: Does the author assess the reliability and scientific significance of the results and whether they bring anything new to the field? Does the study confirm previous results or does it produce new significant findings? Are the conclusions justified? Does the study further the field in a theoretical and methodological sense; are the results valuable in terms of application and social significance?

8 ) The quality of the discussion: Is the discussion objective, critical and clear? Did the author analyse the strengths and weaknesses of his/her work and critically compare it to the literature? Do his/her conclusions support the research questions, results and previous knowledge? Is the author's reading of the findings reasonable? Does he/she clearly state the new information his/her study produced? Is the suggested further research justified?

9 ) Does the author consider ethical issues?

10 ) Presentation and communication of ideas: Is the structure logical and balanced? Are the style, language and form appropriate and suitable for dissertation?

At the end, the report must clearly indicate whether or not the preliminary examiner recommends that the student be granted permission to publish and publicly defend the manuscript as a doctoral dissertation. In addition to their reports, preliminary examiners must submit grade proposals on a separate form. The grade awarded is either fail, pass and pass with honours. The highest grade can be given to a dissertation whose scientific quality and significance are exceptionally high and to which the doctoral candidate's independent contribution is especially significant.

The Board may grant that grade if the opponent and at least one preliminary examiner propose the highest grade.

 

Doctoral Programmes in Philosophy, History, Psychology and Logopedics and Social Sciences

The Rector of the University of Tampere has decided that the authenticity of doctoral dissertations and Licentiate’s theses submitted for preliminary examination must be checked using the Turnitin originality check software, which tracks the theses for plagiarism. The student feeds his or her thesis into the system, and the first supervisor of the thesis reads the report of authenticity produced by the programme. After the first supervisor has given his or her written approval, the thesis can be submitted for the examination.

In order to obtain the permission for a public defence of the dissertation, the manuscript of the dissertation must be submitted to the Faculty Office in three complete paper copies, filed or bound.

Before submitting his or her manuscript, the student should ensure that the supervisor considers the dissertation to be ready for examination. As a general rule, the first supervisor makes the proposal for the preliminary examiners of the manuscript.

Questions concerning the schedule for submitting the manuscript are answered by the Faculty Office.

When submitting the manuscript, the student has to present the accepted study plan and a transcript of the academic record, which includes all the postgraduate studies pursued and an overall grade of the studies or a copy of a certificate concerning the Licentiate’s degree. An application form for the degree certificate must be handed in alongside the manuscript.

The Dean appoints at least two preliminary examiners for the dissertation. The examiners must have the qualifications of a docent at the very least. The examiners should neither come from the Faculty of Social Sciences nor, as a general rule, from the University of Tampere. A docent of the Faculty of Social Sciences who has not supervised the dissertation and who does not work in the Faculty can be appointed as an examiner. In exceptional cases, if the expertise for assessing the dissertation cannot be found anywhere else, the second preliminary examiner can be an employee of some other Faculty at the University of Tampere. As a general rule, one of the examiners must be an active member of the academic community in Finland.

Before the preliminary examiners are selected, the author of the dissertation is provided with the opportunity to comment on the potential unacceptability of the prospective preliminary examiners if doubts of being biased exist. Preliminary examiners are requested to give a statement on whether or not the manuscript has such scientific value that a permission for a public defence may be granted. In the statement, only a proposal of either granting or denying the permission may be put forward, but not a conditional decision. If the dissertation comprises of several publications including a summary, the statement of the preliminary examiners is required to indicate whether the themes of the separate publications comprise an integrated set of problems.

A joint statement of the examiners is accepted only in very special cases.
Yhteiskuntatieteiden tiedekunnan ohjeet esitarkastajille (LINKKI)

Permission to Defend the Doctoral Dissertation

Permission to defend the dissertation is granted by the Faculty Council or – in the event that the Council has delegated the task – the Dean.

In some faculties, permission to defend the dissertation is referred to as the permission to publish.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

The permission to defend the dissertation is granted by the Faculty Council. The pre-examiner statements regarding the permission to defend the dissertation are sent to the author of the dissertation no later than four (4) days before the meeting of the Faculty Council. At the same time, the author is afforded the opportunity to respond to the pre-examiners’ statements. For the purpose of providing the response, the author has the right to request the decision regarding the permission to be postponed to the subsequent meeting of the Faculty Council.

Faculty of Education

Permission to publish

A proposal to grant permission to publish a scholarly work intended as a doctoral dissertation is brought to the Faculty Council for a decision if both pre-examiners recommend that permission be granted. If the pre-examination statement is unfavourable, the pre-examination process can be halted at the request of the doctoral student. In the event that the pre-examination process is discontinued, it can be recommenced if permission is granted by the supervisors of the dissertation.

Before the processing of the permission to publish by the Faculty Council, the manuscript must be delivered electronically as a single file (in PDF format) to the Faculty’s Study Coordinator no later than ten days before the Faculty Council meeting at which the matter of the permission is to be addressed. The manuscript must be supplied electronically to the members of the Faculty Council.

Publishing of a dissertation

Once the Faculty Council has granted permission to publish, the dissertation is ready for printing.

Publishing instructions for dissertations are provided on the website of Tampere University Library. The doctoral candidate must also secure any other publishing permissions required for the dissertation. If several publications are presented as a dissertation and a summary has been prepared (i.e. an article-based dissertation), previously printed publications do not require reprinting. In this case, permission to publish need only be obtained for the summary.

In the event that the dissertation consists of separate publications, the doctoral candidate must provide the Faculty of Education with ten copies of the dissertation or summary. If the dissertation is published under a series other than Acta Universitatis or it is printed by a printing house other than Tampere University Press, the Faculty must be provided with twelve copies of the dissertation. The Faculty of Education will handle the official distribution of the dissertation in book form to the opponent and custos, among other relevant parties, and provide the members of the Faculty Council with electronic versions.

The dissertation must be made available to the public at least ten days before the public defence, which means that the dissertations must be delivered to the Faculty no later than twelve days before the defence. A separate title sheet appended to the dissertation must state the time and place of the defence, and indicate that the dissertation is presented for public examination with the consent of the Faculty of Education.

Faculty of Management

Johtamiskorkeakoulun johtokunta myöntää  väitöskirjalle julkaisuluvan. Esitarkas-tajien lausunnot julkaisuluvan myöntämistä varten lähetetään väitöskirjan tekijälle vähintään neljä (4) päivää ennen sitä johtokunnan kokousta, jossa julkaisulupa-asiaa käsitellään. Väitöskirjan tekijällä on mahdollisuus vastineen antamiseen esitarkastajan lausunnoista. Väitöskirjan tekijällä on myös oikeus pyytää väitöskirjan julkaisulupaa koskevan asian siirtoa johtokunnan seuraavaan kokoukseen.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

Once the preliminary examiners have submitted their reports, the Dean decides whether the student should be granted permission to defend and, if yes, appoints an opponent and custos for the defence proceedings.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

The student may wish to submit a response to the preliminary examiners' reports on the permission to publish. Copies of the preliminary examiners' reports are sent to the student at least 5 days prior to the Faculty Management Board meeting. If the student wishes to respond to the reports, he/she can ask that the decision on the publication of the dissertation be postponed to the next meeting of the Faculty Management Board.

To obtain permission to defend it as a doctoral dissertation, the student must submit the manuscript to the Faculty Office in three complete paper copies that are either bound or in a binder.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Doctoral Programmes in Health Sciences, Medicine and Epidemiology

Once the preliminary examiners have submitted their reports, the Faculty Council decides whether the student should be granted permission to publish and, if yes, appoints an opponent and custos for the defence proceedings. The Head of Study Affairs will provide the opponent, doctoral candidate and custos with instructions on the proceedings at the public defence, among other things.

Doctoral Programmes in Philosophy, History, Psychology and Logopedics and Social Sciences

The statements of the preliminary examiners are sent to the doctoral candidate 14 days prior (in exceptional cases 5 days prior at the latest) to the Faculty Council meeting. The Postgraduate Committee gives its view on the matter before the Faculty Council meeting. The student may write a reply to the statements. For this purpose, the student may request for the decision on the public defence to be postponed to the Faculty Council’s next meeting.

Custos, Opponent, Grading Committee, and Date of the Public Defence

 

Once permission to present the study as a dissertation has been granted, the Faculty Council or Dean appoints a custos to represent the University at the public defence, along with one or more opponents. In some faculties, the grade proposal is issued by a grading committee, including the opponent and 1–3 other persons familiar with the field of the dissertation.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

Once permission to present the study as a dissertation has been granted, the Faculty Council appoints for the public defence a custos to represent the university, along with one or more opponents. The custos must be a professor or other docent-level member of the teaching or research staff who is in an employment relationship with the University of Tampere, or alternatively an emeritus/emerita professor. The opponents should generally be selected from outside the University of Tampere. An opponent must have at least the title of a docent. In the field of theatre arts, an accomplished artist without a doctoral degree can serve as an opponent. A supervisor of the dissertation may not serve as an opponent. A pre-examiner can only serve as an opponent on special grounds. Scarcity of experts in the field or the pre-examiner’s expertise in the field of the dissertation/artictic dissertation, for example, can be considered to constitute special grounds. Before the selection of the opponent and the evaluation board, the author is afforded the opportunity to provide grounds for the possible disqualification of the proposed persons.

In the same context, the Faculty Council appoints an evaluation board, to which at least one member from outside the discipline is assigned in addition to the custos and opponent(s). This person must have a docent’s title or equivalent academic merits. If the custos is also a supervisor of the dissertation, a professor or other representative of the discipline with a docent’s title or equivalent academic merits is appointed to the evaluation board in his/her stead. Before the appointment, the author is afforded the opportunity to provide grounds for the possible disqualification of the proposed board members. A supervisor who has served as the custos can participate in the evaluation board’s meeting as a person who provides additional information on the dissertation but cannot be a competent member of the board.

The Faculty Council decides on the opponent and composition of the evaluation board based on the proposal of the person responsible for the doctoral programme.

For the purpose of determining the date of the public defence, the doctoral candidate contacts the custos, opponent and the faculty’s study services. Once the date has been set, the study services will reserve the appropriate lecture hall.

Faculty instructions for the opponent (LINK)

Faculty instructions for the evaluation board (LINK)

Faculty of Education

Appointing an opponent, a custos and an evaluation group

The Faculty Council or – pursuant to the Faculty Council’s decision – the Dean of the Faculty appoints a monitor (custos) for the public defence and, by proposal of the professor responsible for the study or the relevant supervisor, one or two opponents of at least docent level who are independent of the University of Tampere. A pre-examiner can only serve as an opponent on special grounds. A supervisor of the dissertation may not serve as an opponent.

The custos is usually the supervisor of the dissertation. This task can be assigned to a Professor of the University of Tampere or – pursuant to the Faculty’s regulations – a Docent, Emeritus/Emerita Professor.

The evaluation group includes the opponent(s) and an expert representative appointed by the Faculty Council or – in accordance with the Faculty Council’s delegation decision – the Dean of the Faculty. A Professor, Associate Professor or Docent is generally selected as a member of the evaluation group, but the Dean may, at his/her discretion, also appoint a Doctor well versed in the field of the dissertation. The group also includes the custos, if he/she is not the supervisor of the dissertation. The group may hear the supervisor but the supervisor may not participate in the decision of the grade proposal or the pertinent discussion. The members of the evaluation group must be present at the public defence.

The author of the dissertation must be afforded the opportunity to provide a response before the selection of the opponent(s). As regards the disqualification of the opponent, the provisions set forth in Sections 27 and 28 of the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003) apply.

The Dean of the Faculty determines the date and time of the public defence.

Faculty of Management

Kun julkaisulupa on myönnetty, tiedekuntaneuvosto määrää julkista väitöstilaisuutta varten valvojan (kustoksen) ja yhden tai kaksi vastaväittäjää. Vastaväittäjän tulee olla tieteenalansa arvostettu asiantuntija. Kustoksena toimii työn ohjaaja tai oppialan tai lähiaineen professori. Samassa yhteydessä tiedekuntaneuvosto määrää väitöskirjalle arvostelulautakunnan, joka tekee tiedekuntaneuvostolle esityksen väitöskirjasta annettavasta arvosanasta. Kustos toimii arvostelulautakunnan puheenjohtajana. Sen muina jäseninä ovat esitarkastajat, vastaväittäjä ja yksi tiedekuntaneuvoston määräämä professori, dosentti tai vastaavantasoiset tieteelliset ansiot omaava tohtori.

Johtamiskorkeakoulun ohjeet vastaväittäjälle (LINKKI)

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

Preliminary examiners must be at least docent-level objective experts. A researcher working in the field of the dissertation at the University of Tampere, a person who has acted as a supervisor or a member of the follow-up group in connection with the dissertation in question, or a person who could in some other way be considered unacceptable due to the likelihood of bias may not serve as a preliminary examiner.

An opponent must be a renowned expert in his/her field, but must also be considered acceptable.

The preliminary examiners and opponent may not have published co-authored articles or cooperated closely with the doctoral student or the supervisor(s) for the past three years. If they have collaborated with the student or supervisor, the BDS must evaluate whether or not that person may act in his/her position. At least one of the experts must be familiar with the Finnish or Scandinavian dissertation process and the conventions of postgraduate education.

The custos represents the University and must be a professor or, in exceptional cases, a docent at the University of Tampere. The custos may even be an emerita or emeritus professor if he/she has acted as the student's supervisor. The Dean appoints, authorized by the faculty council, the preliminary examiners, opponent and custos.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

Once permission to publish the dissertation has been granted, the Faculty will appoint a custos, and usually one opponent for the public defence of the dissertation, and a dissertation grading committee. Before the opponent is appointed, the author of the dissertation is given an opportunity to comment on the potential unacceptability of the prospective opponent. The doctoral candidate must contact the custos, opponent and Faculty Office to settle the time and date of the public defence. The Faculty Office will then book a lecture hall for the defence. The Faculty Management Board or the Dean is to approve the time and date of the public defence.

Faculty instructions for the opponent (LINK)

Faculty of Social Sciences

Doctoral Programmes in Health Sciences, Medicine and Epidemiology

The custos supervises the public defence and represents the University at the event. He/she ensures that the opponent and doctoral candidate understand and observe the nature and conventions of the defence proceedings. The custos may be a tenured professor or docent of the University or an emerita or emeritus professor who served as the student's supervisor. The opponent and custos are appointed by the Faculty Council.
Date and Place of the Public Defence
A doctoral candidate must announce the date of the defence proceedings to Head of Study Affairs of Faculty of Social Sciences as soon as he/she has organised them together with the custos and opponent. This allows SOC to make the dissertation available ten weekdays before the defence and deliver copies of it to relevant parties.

The doctoral candidate must book a lecture hall for the defence proceedings. The public defence proceedings are held on University of Tampere premises. Reservations can be made with assistance from the Faculty’s caretaker or the secretary of doctoral studies. In exceptional situations if the research is closely connected to a University unit or organisation outside Tampere with education and research in the relevant field, the public defence proceedings may take place there by decision of the Dean.

Doctoral Programmes in Philosophy, History, Psychology and Logopedics and Social Sciences

Custos, Opponent and the Grading Committee

When permission for the public defence has been granted, the Faculty Council appoints a Custos (chairman) and at least one opponent for the public defence of the dissertation. The Custos must be qualified at least as a docent and employed by the Faculty of Social Sciences. The opponent must come from outside of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and only exceptionally from the University of Tampere. It is also recommended that the opponent is none of the preliminary examiners. The qualifications of the opponent should be at the level of a docent at least. Before the appointments, the author of the dissertation is provided with the opportunity to comment on the potential unacceptability of the prospective opponent/s.

At the same time, the Faculty Council appoints the members of the Evaluation Board for assessing the dissertation. The Evaluation Board proposes a grade for the dissertation to the Faculty Council. A professor or a docent representing some other discipline of the Faculty than the discipline of the dissertation is appointed as chair of the Evaluation Board. In addition to the chair, the members of the evaluation board include examiners and opponent(s).

After the public defence, the chair invites the other members of the Evaluation Board to a meeting, introduces the Faculty’s grading scale to them, leads and participates in the discussion concerning the grade and reports the proposal for the grade on behalf of the Evaluation Board to the Faculty Council. Before the chair is appointed, the candidate is provided with the opportunity to comment on the potential unacceptability of the prospective chair. It is recommended that all the members of the Evaluation Board who reside in Finland participate in the public defence and in the meeting of the Evaluation Board. When necessary, the members of the Evaluation Board can be contacted by other means.

The Date of the Public Defence

The Dean of the School determines the date of the defence at least 14 days in advance. The doctoral candidate contacts the Custos, the opponent(s) and the Faculty Office and is responsible for reserving the lecture hall. The date of the defence should be determined so that the members of the Board and the Postgraduate Committee have the possibility to participate in the defence if they wish to do so.

Publishing the Dissertation and Dissertation Publicity

There are several alternatives for publishing a dissertation. The most common method is to publish the dissertation electronically online under the Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis series and have a small batch printed for the public defence and personal use under the Acta Universitatis Tamperensis series. You can also choose to employ the services of another publisher. Instructions on publishing a dissertation in the Acta series can be found in the pertinent guide.

The dissertation must be online and/or available in print form 10–14 days prior to the public defence. Before this, the book must be printed. The time needed for publication depends on the publication method and publisher. However, several weeks must always be reserved for the publication process. viikkoja.

 

Number of days before the public defence that the dissertation must be available for viewing

Number of copies of the dissertation to be delivered to the faculty

Acta series / Other publisher (incl. library copy)

Faculty of Communication Sciences 10 10/12
Faculty of Education 10 10/12
Faculty of Management 10 10/12
Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences 10 5/7
Faculty of Natural Sciences 10 10/12
Faculty of Social Sciences 14 10/12

The doctoral candidate will handle the delivery of the books to the faculty unless otherwise agreed with the publisher. Under the Acta series, the requisite copies of the dissertations are supplied to the faculty directly from the printing house.

A separate title sheet appended to the dissertation must state the time and place of the defence, and indicate that the dissertation is presented for public examination with the consent of the faculty in question.

Notification of the Dissertation

Please fill in and submit the online press release form two weeks before the public defence. You can also send your photo to the library, if you so wish. The library will notify the Finnish media of your dissertation based on the information provided on the form.

Financial Support for Printing a Dissertation

The City of Tampere Science Fund may grant financial support of up to €440 for the printing of a dissertation. More details are provided on the website of the Science Fund.

Some faculties also provide financial support for the printing of dissertations. More information is provided on the Grants page.

Public Defence of a Doctoral Dissertation

The public defence of a doctoral dissertation serves three distinct functions:

  • It offers an opportunity to publicly and reliably ensure that the doctoral student has written the dissertation himself/herself and that the dissertation meets the basic criteria for a dissertation.
  • It offers the opponent(s), people evaluating the dissertation and other people interested in the subject an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the dissertation by listening to, asking questions of and participating in a discussion with the author.
  • It offers an opportunity to make research public in a way that deviates from the norm and is more visible to the public.

The public defence of a doctoral dissertation generally follows certain traditional customs and formal requirements. These customs and formal requirements supplement the official regulations concerning the examination of a dissertation. In the course of time, formalities and traditional customs naturally change. For this reason, the main participants in the defence proceedings should always negotiate the arrangements beforehand.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

Dress code

It is customary for the candidate, custos, and opponent to wear black formal attire. Alternatively, participants may wear the gown of the University of Tampere. For more information on wearing and reserving the gown, please contact the Secretary to the Rector. The custos and opponent must adhere to the alternative selected by the candidate. Those who have graduated abroad may wear their own academic dress, which may include a gown and cap. If the custos and opponent have doctoral degrees, they must hold their doctoral caps in their hands upon entering and exiting the lecture hall.

Entrance and opening the defence proceedings

The participants enter the lecture hall in the following order: first, the doctoral candidate; second, the custos; and last, the opponent(s). In the lecture hall, the candidate sits to the right of the custos and the opponent to the left of the custos, viewed from the hall. When everyone is in place, the custos will open the public defence by saying, “As the custos appointed by the Faculty of Communication Sciences, I declare the defence may begin.” The doctoral candidate will remain standing and deliver his/her lectio praecursoria, which may last no longer than 20 minutes. This introductory lecture will be given on a topic related to the dissertation, but not on the actual research itself. If the opponent is from abroad, he/she will be provided with a translation of the lectio praecursoria, if its language differs from that of the dissertation. The candidate will begin by saying, "Distinguished Custos, Distinguished Opponent(s), distinguished audience."

Any misprints are not to be corrected during the defence. Instead, the candidate may provide the opponent with a list of misprints and, if he/she so desires, distribute to the audience the list, the lectio praecursoria or other materials related to the dissertation with help from a person seated among the audience, for example.

After the lectio praecursoria, the candidate will say: ”I ask you, Distinguished Professor(s) (Doctor[s], etc.), as the opponent appointed by the Faculty of Communication Sciences, to present the observations you consider appropriate for this dissertation.”

The opponent will stand up and give a short statement about the dissertation's position and significance in science and other topics of a more general nature. After this, the opponent and the candidate sit down. If there are several opponents, only the first one presents this general statement.

Examination of the dissertation

At the beginning of the examination proper, the opponent generally focuses on the methodology and general questions, followed by a detailed examination. If there are several opponents, they may agree to take turns and decide on a “division of labour” beforehand. They may also discuss a topic that one of them brings up during the proceedings.

A single opponent may take no more than four hours to examine a dissertation; the proceedings as a whole may not exceed six hours. The custos may suspend the defence proceedings for breaks. At the end of the examination, the opponent (or one of them, if there are several) presents a closing statement, for which the candidate stands up. If there are several opponents, only one will make a closing statement. After that, the doctoral candidate will thank the opponent(s).

Once the opponents have concluded their examination, topics not touched on previously may be discussed. To initiate the discussion, the doctoral candidate will address the audience and say: “Ladies and gentlemen, I ask those of you who have observations to make on the dissertation presented here to please request the floor from the custos.” After this opening, the custos will lead the discussion for as long as necessary, but not in excess of the maximum total duration of six hours. The custos will preside over the discussion by giving the floor to speakers and ensuring that the candidate has the opportunity to answer each point and that the discussion remains relevant.

The custos closes the defence proceedings by standing up and saying, "I declare this discussion closed." The participants leave the lecture hall in reverse order, i.e. the opponent(s) leave first, the custos second and the candidate last.

The coffee catering and post-doctoral party (karonkka) are unofficial private events. The doctoral candidate may invite people to the coffee catering event before leaving the lecture hall.

Faculty of Education

Dress code

The custos and opponent must adhere to the alternative selected by the candidate. It is customary for the doctoral candidate, custos and opponent to wear a tailcoat and a black waistcoat (or a uniform without any medals). Women wear black formal wear and no hat. If the custos and opponent have doctoral degrees, they must hold their doctoral caps in their hands upon entering and exiting the lecture hall.

These days, a dark suit is often worn instead of a tailcoat. Alternatively, participants may wear the appropriate gown of the University of Tampere. More information on wearing and reserving the gown.

Entrance

The audience must arrive in the designated lecture hall by 12 noon. The seats are filled as follows:

  • Professors in the first row;

  • The doctoral candidate’s friends and family in the second row;

  • Invited guests in the third row;

  • Other rows are filled in the order of arrival.

Public defence
  • The doctoral candidate, custos and opponent arrive at 12:15 pm (audience stands up).

  • The candidate, custos and opponent(s) take their seats.

  • The custos declares the public defence open (audience sits down).

The custos opens the event by stating the following: “As the custos appointed by the Faculty of Education, I declare these defence proceedings to be open.”

The candidate delivers his/her lectio praecursoria standing up. The lectio praecursoria is a non-technical presentation no more than 20 minutes in length, which provides background for the research, presents the key results and links them to broader scientific and social contexts. The presentation begins with the words: “Honourable Custos, Honourable Opponent(s), ladies and gentlemen.”

The candidate may also provide the opponent with a list of misprints. Furthermore, if the candidate so wishes, he/she may – with help from someone sitting in the audience, for example – distribute to the audience the lectio praecursoria, the list of misprints or other materials related to the dissertation.

Once the lectio praecursoria is over, the candidate states the following: “I ask you, Honourable Professor (Doctor, etc.), as the opponent appointed by the Faculty of Education, to present the observations you consider appropriate for this dissertation.”

The opponent stands up and gives a short statement about the dissertation's position and significance in science and other topics of a more general nature. After this, the opponent and the candidate sit down. If there is more than one opponent, only the first one provides a general statement.

Examination of the dissertation

At the beginning of the examination proper, the opponent generally focuses on the methodology and general questions, followed by a detailed examination. If there are several opponents, they may agree to take turns and decide on a “division of labour” beforehand. They may also discuss a topic that one of them brings up during the proceedings.

A single opponent may take no more than four hours to examine a dissertation; the proceedings as a whole may not exceed six hours. The public defence can be interrupted for breaks; the custos will provide notification of any possible breaks.

At the end of the examination, the opponent (or one of them, if there are several) presents a closing statement, for which the candidate stands up. If there are several opponents, only one will make a closing statement. After that, the doctoral candidate will thank the opponent(s).

Once the opponents have concluded their examination, topics not touched on previously may be discussed. The candidate turns to the audience and says: “Ladies and gentlemen, I ask those of you who have observations to make on the dissertation presented here to please request the floor from the custos.”

After this opening, the custos leads the discussion for as long as necessary, taking into account the maximum total duration of six hours.

The custos ends the event by stating: “I declare these defence proceedings to be closed.” When the doctoral candidate, custos and opponent(s) prepare to exit the lecture hall, the audience stands up.

Conclusion of the event
  • The opponent(s), custos and doctoral candidate leave the lecture hall.

  • The audience exits in the order of the rows of seats, starting from the first row.

  • Once everyone has exited the hall, those present prepare to congratulate the candidate.

  • Congratulation order: custos, opponent, professors, family and friends, and other audience members.

 

Faculty of Management

Coming soon.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

Dress Code

It is customary for the doctoral candidate, custos and opponent to wear a tailcoat and a black waistcoat (or a uniform without any medals). Women wear black formal wear and no hat. If the opponent and custos consider it appropriate, men may wear a black suit instead of a tailcoat. Alternatively, participants may wear the gown of the University of Tampere. The custos and the opponent must hold their Doctor's caps in their hands when entering and leaving the lecture hall.

Entrance and Opening the Defence Proceedings

The participants enter the lecture hall in the following order: first, the doctoral candidate; second, the custos; and, last, the opponent(s). In the lecture hall, the custos will sit in the middle, with the doctoral candidate on his/her left and opponent on his/her right. When everyone is in place, the custos will open the public defence by saying, "As the custos appointed by the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, I declare these defence proceedings to be open." The custos then welcomes everyone and introduces the topic briefly. After that, the custos introduces the doctoral candidate and opponent, and the custos and opponent sit down.

Lectio Praecursoria

The doctoral candidate will remain standing and deliver his/her lectio praecursoria, which may last no longer than 15–20 minutes. This introductory lecture will be given on a topic related to the dissertation, but not on the actual research itself. The doctoral candidate will begin by saying "Honorable Custos, Honorable Opponent(s), ladies and gentlemen." At this point, the candidate may provide copies of the typographical errors list, the introductory lecture or other relevant materials to be handed out to the audience. A non-Finnish opponent will be provided with a translation of the introductory lecture if it is given in Finnish. After finishing his/her lectio praecursoria, the doctoral candidate will say: "I ask you, honoured professor NN (doctor NN, etc.), as the opponent appointed by the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, to present the observations you consider appropriate for this dissertation."

The opponent will stand up and give a short response about the dissertation's position and significance in science and other topics of a more general nature. After this, the opponent and the candidate sit down. Even if there are several opponents, only one will give a response.

The introductory lecture and the defence proceedings may be in Finnish, Swedish, the language of the dissertation, or, with the consent of the Dean of the Faculty, in another language.

Examination

At the beginning of the examination proper, the opponent generally focuses on the methodology and general questions, followed by a detailed examination. If there are several opponents, they may agree to take turns and decide on a "division of labour" beforehand. They may also discuss a topic one of them brings up during the proceedings.

The proceedings may not exceed six hours in length. The custos may suspend the defence proceedings for breaks.

At the end of the examination, the opponent presents a closing statement. The candidate and the opponent stand for this statement.

Once the opponent declares his/her examination to be over, the candidate will stand up to thank the opponent. To initiate the discussion, the doctoral candidate will address the audience and say: "Ladies and gentlemen, I ask those of you who have observations to make on the dissertation presented here to please request the floor from the custos." After this opening, the custos will invite the audience to ask questions or comment on the dissertation. If someone in the audience objects to the dissertation being approved, the objection must be submitted to the Faculty Council in writing.

The custos closes the defence proceedings by saying, "I declare these defence proceedings to be closed." The participants then leave the lecture hall in reverse order, i.e. the opponent(s) leave first, the custos second and the candidate last.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

Dressing for the occasion

The doctoral candidate, the Custos and the opponent(s), when men, usually wear a tailcoat and black waistcoat, or a dark suit, or a uniform without medals. Ladies wear a black dress or suit and no hat. Alternatively the academic dress of other countries or the gown of the University of Tampere can be chosen. The gowns can be reserved through the Rector’s secretary and it is possible to see and try them on beforehand. The doctoral candidate should inform the other participants of his/her choice of dress, as the others will then choose their attire accordingly. If the Custos and the opponent hold the Doctor's degree, they carry their doctor's hats in their hands when entering and leaving the auditorium. The members of the audience are free to choose their attire.

Entering the lecture hall and opening the debate

The participants in the public defence enter the lecture hall in the following order: the doctoral candidate first, followed first by the Custos and then the opponent(s). The members of the audience rise when the participants enter.

When everyone has taken their place the Custos, still standing, opens the discussion saying: "As the Custos appointed by the Faculty of Natural Sciences I declare the discussion open."

The doctoral candidate remains standing to deliver the introductory lecture (lectio praecursoria), which may not last for more than 20 minutes. The doctoral candidate may distribute to the audience the text of the lecture, the list of the printing errors or some other material connected with the dissertation.

After finishing the lectio praecursoria, the doctoral candidate says: "I ask you, Professor (or Doctor, etc.), as my opponent appointed by the Faculty of Natural Sciences, to make the comments on my dissertation which you consider pertinent."

The opponent rises to give a short address on the position and significance of the subject matter of the dissertation as well as other matters of a general nature. If there are several opponents, only one of them will speak. After this, both the opponent and the doctoral candidate sit down.

Defence of the dissertation

The opponent generally begins the examination by focusing attention on general and methodological questions, after which there follows an examination of details. If there are several opponents, they may agree among themselves which parts of the dissertation they will concentrate on. The audience also has the right to participate in the discussion. The Custos will give the floor to the members of the audience. However, the Custos will ensure that in the discussion a clear preference is given to the doctoral student and the opponent.

One opponent may not spend more than four hours on the examination, since sufficient time is to be reserved for the possible other opponents. The whole procedure may not last for more than six hours. The examination may be interrupted by a short pause announced by the Custos.

The opponent finishes the examination by rising to give the final summary, and the doctoral candidate stands to hear it.

The doctoral candidate remains standing and expresses his/her thanks to the opponent.

The doctoral candidate then turns to the audience and says: "If anyone here has any comments to make on my dissertation he or she is requested to ask the Custos for the floor."

The Custos presides over the discussion, giving the floor to those requesting it and ensuring that the doctoral candidate can respond immediately to each remark, and that the speakers do not digress from the subject.

The Custos stands up to announce the discussion finished by saying "I declare this discussion closed".

The participants leave the lecture hall in reverse order: the opponent(s) first, followed by the Custos and then the doctoral candidate. The members of the audience rise as the procession leaves the auditorium.

Celebrating the dissertation

The public defence of the dissertation may be celebrated by offering the audience coffee or tea and for example cake immediately after the defence is over.

In the evening, the doctoral candidate may invite the participants, his/her academic supporters, friends and family members to a celebration banquet dinner. The dinner is called väitöskaronkka. The arrangements are made by the doctoral candidate.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Doctoral Programmes in Health Sciences, Medicine and Epidemiology

Dress Code

It is customary for the doctoral candidate, custos and opponent to wear a tailcoat and a black waistcoat (or a uniform without any medals). Women wear black formal wear and no hat. If the opponent and custos consider it appropriate, men may wear a black suit instead of a tailcoat. Alternatively, participants may wear the gown that the University of Tampere has had made for the purpose. The custos and the opponent must hold their Doctor's caps in their hands when entering and leaving the lecture hall.

Entrance and Opening the Defence Proceedings The participants enter the lecture hall in the following order: first, the doctoral candidate; second, the custos; and, last, the opponent(s). In the lecture hall, the custos will sit in the middle, with the doctoral candidate on his/her left and opponent on his/her right. Once all participants have taken their places, the custos will open the public defence by saying: “As the custos appointed by the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Tampere, I declare these defence proceedings to be open.” The custos then welcomes everyone and introduces the topic briefly. After that, the custos introduces the doctoral candidate and opponent, and the custos and opponent sit down.
 
Lectio Praecursoria

The doctoral candidate will remain standing and deliver his/her lectio praecursoria, which may last no longer than 15–20 minutes. This introductory lecture will be given on a topic related to the dissertation, but not on the actual research itself. The doctoral candidate will begin by saying, “Honourable Custos, Honourable Opponent(s), ladies and gentlemen.” At this point, the candidate may distribute copies of the introductory lecture and the typographical errors list with the assistance of an audience member, for example. A non-Finnish opponent will be provided with a translation of the introductory lecture if it is given in Finnish. After finishing his/her lectio praecursoria, the doctoral candidate will say: “I ask you, honoured Professor NN (Doctor NN, etc.), as the opponent appointed by the Facultyl of Social Sciences, to present the observations you consider appropriate for this dissertation.”
 
Examination

The opponent will stand up and give a short initial response about the dissertation's position and significance in science. After this, the opponent and the candidate sit down. Even if there are several opponents, only one will give the initial response.

The introductory lecture and the defence proceedings may be in Finnish, Swedish, the language of the dissertation, or, with the consent of the Dean of the School, in another language.

If there are several opponents, they may agree to take turns and decide on a ‘division of labour’ beforehand. They may also discuss a topic one of them brings up during the proceedings.

The proceedings may not exceed six hours in length. The custos may suspend the defence proceedings for breaks.

At the end of the examination, the opponent presents a closing statement. The candidate and the opponent stand for this statement. In the closing statement, the opponent indicates whether or not he/she will propose the dissertation be accepted in the actual written report.

Once the opponent declares his/her examination to be over, the candidate will stand up to thank the opponent by saying: “I wish to thank you, Professor/Docent NN, for the valuable observations you have provided on my dissertation.” To initiate the discussion, the candidate addresses the audience and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, I ask those of you who have observations to make on the dissertation presented here to please request the floor from the custos.” After this opening, the custos will invite the audience to ask questions or comment on the dissertation. If someone in the audience objects to the dissertation being approved, the objection must be submitted to the Board in writing.

The custos closes the defence proceedings by saying, “I declare these defence proceedings to be closed.” The participants then leave the lecture hall in reverse order, i.e. the opponent(s) leave first, the custos second and the candidate last.

Doctoral Programmes in Philosophy, History, Psychology and Logopedics and Social Sciences

 

Accepting and Evaluating a Doctoral Dissertation

The Faculty Council approves and evaluates dissertations. Faculties currently employ varying grading scales, but the University of Tampere will adopt a unified scale for the grading of licentiate theses and doctoral dissertations.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

After the defence proceedings, the opponent(s) submit their written reports to the faculty. The opponent's report must indicate whether the dissertation should be approved and propose the grade to be given. The custos or the person who replaces the custos in the evaluation board will also submit the evaluation board’s grade proposal to the faculty. If a member of the evaluation board voices a divergent opinion, it must be stated in the grade proposal, which must be signed by the custos or the person replacing the custos and the external board member. If the custos has served as the supervisor for the dissertation, he/she may participate in the early part of the evaluation board meeting to provide additional information. However, the custos must leave before the discussion on the grade proposal begins.

Before the evaluation of the dissertation, the custos appointed for the public defence by the Faculty Council will present a written evaluation of how the defence proceeded.

The statements must be submitted to the person responsible for postgraduate affairs within one month of the public defence. The Faculty Council will decide on the acceptance of the dissertation and the grade to be granted. The supervisor of the dissertation does not participate in the evaluation of the dissertation in the Faculty Council. The opponent’s statement and the evaluation board’s grade proposal must be submitted to the doctoral candidate no later than four (4) days before the Faculty Council meeting at which the dissertation will be discussed. If the candidate wishes to respond to the reports or the grade proposal, he/she may do so at this time. The candidate can also request that the grading of the dissertation be postponed to the next Faculty Council meeting for this reason.

A request for reconsideration of the dissertation grade must be submitted to the Faculty Council within 14 days of the announcement of the grade.

Doctoral Programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media and the Doctoral Programme in Interactive Technology

The following aspects are considered in the evaluation of the dissertation:

A. Scientific merit of the dissertation

  • significance of the dissertation in the field of research;

  • scope of the dissertation;

  • sufficiency of the doctoral candidate’s own research input;

  • logic of the structure knowledge and critical use of literature in the field;

  • language.

B. Doctoral candidate’s performance during the public defence

  • familiarity with the field of research;

  • command of the research methods;

  • evaluation of research findings;

  • ability to engage in scientific debate and respond to criticism.

Doctoral Programme in Language Studies and the Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies

According to the definition accepted by the faculty, a doctoral dissertation is a substantial scientific thesis based on independent research. It must contain new scientific knowledge and demonstrate critical thinking, a profound knowledge of the field and its methods, and the ability to apply these methods. The research must be scientifically respectable and adhere to the ethical norms concerning documentation, referencing, research frames and other studies. (See ‘Responsible Conduct of Research and Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct in Finland’ by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity.)

Dissertations are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

Research topic, research problem, delineation and research questions
The topic should be scientifically significant, yet defined in enough detail; a dissertation should not be one’s mission in life. The significance of the findings and conclusions should be evaluated on the basis of the extent to which the author introduces new ideas or insights, the way research questions have been approached and possibly answered, the quality of the author's findings, and possible advancements in the accuracy of the findings.

Taking previous research into account
The study must either be a relevant addition to a previous discussion or it must spark a completely new discussion. Previous studies must be taken into account, but they may not be repeated as such.

Conceptual clarity, definitions and theoretical mastery of the topic
The author must define key concepts clearly and demonstrate knowledge of the theory pertaining to the topic.

Methods applied
The author must present the methods applied and justify why they have been chosen. The quality of the author's research must be considered in the evaluation: how carefully the research was conducted, what methods were used, how relevant and good these methods are, whether or not new methods were developed and, if so, how they were applied.

Materials
The materials and data used must be relevant to the topic and sufficient.

Findings and conclusions
The significance of the findings and conclusions as a scientific step forward may not be exaggerated or downplayed. The analysis must be consistent and take different viewpoints into account. Interesting openings for further research and the social significance of the research may also count to the author’s credit.

Form
The dissertation must have a logical structure and a clear linguistic form. The author may not allow a good idea to be buried under an information overload.

Critical approach
The author must be critical towards previous research, theories, methods, data, sources and the scientific significance of his/her dissertation. In other words, a good dissertation is original and independent.

Public defence
The evaluation also considers the candidate’s success in defending the dissertation in the public defence.

Doctoral Programme in Communication, Media and Theatre

The evaluation considers the following aspects as applicable. However, separate evaluation instructions may be provided for dissertation in theatre arts, which must be approved by the Faculty Council.

Research topic, research problem and research question
  • justification of the selected topic;
  • scientific significance, originality and currency of the topic;
  • delineation; relevance and focus of the research questions;
  • clarity of the research design.
Taking previous research into account
  • mastery of the research field related to the topic covered, and familiarity with the relevant research literature;
  • critical reflection and evaluation of previous research;
  • positioning of one’s own research in the framework of previous research (continuation or new insight).
Conceptual clarity, theoretical mastery and theoretical development
  • definition and contextualisation of key concepts;
  • consistency in the use of concepts;
  • justification and clarification of the theoretical framework;
  • theoretical discourse and development of new theories.
Materials
  • suitability and sufficiency of the materials in terms of the research problem;
  • presentation of the materials;
  • ethical questions related to obtaining or producing the materials.
Methods and their command, application and development
  • suitability of the methods from the perspective of the research problem;
  • justification of the chosen methods and presentation of their application;
  • reliability and sensitivity of the methods;
  • diversity, consistency and independence in the application of the methods;
  • development and use of new methods.
Findings, conclusions and further research
  • diversity, novelty and scientific significance of the findings;
  • proportioning of the findings to prior equivalent research;
  • self-reflection and critical evaluation of the research;
  • scientific and social significance of the research;
  • suggestions for further research.
Structure and manner of representation
  • logic of the structure and the balance of the chapters;
  • logic of the progression;
  • impeccability of the language and fluency of the presentation.

Grading

Doctoral Programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media and Doctoral Programme in Interactive Technology

Accepted dissertations are evaluated in accordance with the scale Approved – Approved with distinction. For a justified reason, a particularly accomplished dissertation can be awarded the grade Approved with distinction.

Doctoral Programme in Language Studies, Doctoral Programme in Literary Studies and Doctoral Programme in Communication, Media and Theatre

The grading scale for an approved dissertation is, from lowest to highest: approbatur, lubenter approbatur, non sine laude approbatur, cum laude approbatur, magna cum laude approbatur, eximia cum laude approbatur, laudatur.

Approbatur. The dissertation has severe deficiencies, but it fulfils the Faculty's basic criteria for a dissertation and follows the ethical norms of research (See ‘Responsible Conduct of Research and Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct in Finland’ by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity).

Lubenter approbatur. In relation to the evaluation criteria, the dissertation has several significant deficiencies without adequate compensative merits.

Non sine laude approbatur. In relation to the evaluation criteria, the dissertation has some significant deficiencies without adequate compensative merits.

Cum laude approbatur: In relation to the evaluation criteria, the dissertation is a good conventional work. The language and the concepts are well-defined. The research problem, methods and results are well-justified and based on relevant data. The special merits of the dissertation compensate for possible deficiencies.

Magna cum laude approbatur: In relation to the evaluation criteria, the dissertation has clear merits without invalidating deficiencies.

Eximia cum laude approbatur: In relation to the evaluation criteria, the dissertation has several significant merits without invalidating deficiencies.

Laudatur: The theme of the dissertation is ambitious, and the work is especially accomplished in relation to all essential evaluation criteria.

Artistic dissertations are graded on a scale of pass–fail. The artistic or practical portions and the related reflective portion are evaluated together.

Faculty of Education

Evaluation of a doctoral dissertation

The evaluation group prepares a proposal on the approval and grading of the dissertation for the Faculty Council based on the pre-examination statements, the opponent(s) statements and a hearing with the custos. In addition to this, the opponent(s) prepares a written examination statement on the dissertation. After the defence and before the evaluation, the custos presents his/her assessment of the progression of the public defence to the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Education. Before the evaluation of the dissertation, the doctoral candidate must be afforded the opportunity to submit a response to the proposed grade and the opponent’s statement.

The Faculty Council evaluates the dissertation on a scale of “excellent, very good, satisfactory, sufficient, failed”.

The affected party may submit a request for rectification of the evaluation of the dissertation to the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Education within 14 days of being informed of the decision (Sections 44, 82 and 83 of the Universities Act (558/2009), Section 13, Paragraph 6 of the University of Tampere Regulations, and Section 26 of the University of Tampere Regulations on Degrees).

 

Grades and evaluation criteria for dissertations

5 (excellent)

The research topic is clearly more demanding, significant and ambitious than in an average dissertation. The dissertation demonstrates a critical, truly creative and original approach and shows that the author can theoretically analyse an extensive complex of issues and research problems. The author has an in-depth knowledge of the research traditions, key concepts and theories in his/her field, and he/she makes use of them creatively and exceptionally well. The research problems are expertly reasoned and tightly connected to the theoretical framework, and the research design demonstrates creativeness and innovativeness. The research is exceptionally well conducted and produces significant new information. The analysis demonstrates a very good command of methods and is systematic, accurate and reliable. The discussion of ethical issues is critical, in-depth and diverse. The author reports his/her findings clearly and logically, and in a manner that is excellent in both style and language.

In the light of key evaluation criteria, the dissertation is especially distinguished, even on an international level. The doctoral candidate also presents and defends his/her research exceedingly well.

4 (very good)

The author is well-acquainted with the theoretical premises of his/her field and has not only successfully placed his/her research in the context of the research tradition in the field: his/her research also represents a significant contribution to the theory or empiricism in the field. The dissertation demonstrates that the author has an excellent command of the key theories and concepts in the field and he/she makes good use of them. The research problems are challenging and well-justified, and the author successfully connects them to his/her theoretical framework. The author explicitly derives his/her research questions from the research problems, and formulates and defines them well. The research design is also very clear and logical; the choice of research methods is well-justified, and the use of methods is competent. The analysis demonstrates a very good command of the methodology. Findings are interpreted logically and conclusions are well-justified. The author considers the ethical issues involved in the research from a critical point of view and from different perspectives. The research accurately answers the research questions presented, and the interpretation of results is in good balance with the theoretical framework. The author reports on his/her research very clearly and logically, and the style and language of the report are commendable.

In relation to the evaluation criteria, the dissertation has several significant merits without invalidating deficiencies. The author also presents and defends his/her research very well.

3 (good)

The author is familiar with the theoretical premises of his/her field and has successfully placed his/her research in that context. The dissertation demonstrates that the author has a good command of the key theories and concepts in the field and that he/she makes appropriate use of them. The research problems are fairly challenging and well-justified, and they are relevant to the theoretical framework. The research assignment is defined so that it has a clear purpose. The research questions are derived from the research problems, and they are clearly formulated and well-defined. The choice of methods is justified and allows the author to answer his/her research questions. The use of methods is consistent and meticulous. The analysis is accurate and reliable and demonstrates a good command of the methodology. The presentation and discussion of findings is competent. The research answers the research questions well, and the author does well in placing the interpretation of his/her findings in the theoretical framework. The research offers new information or a new insight. The author includes critical remarks when discussing research ethics and reports the research clearly and logically; the reporting is impeccable in style and language.

The research meets the criteria set for a good-quality dissertation in education. The doctoral candidate presents and defends his/her research well.

 

2 (satisfactory)

The author knows the key theoretical premises in his/her field and can place his/her research in the overall context of the research tradition in the field. The author demonstrates that he/she has familiarised himself/herself with the key theories and concepts in the field, but he/she has a fairly limited command of them and applies them to a limited extent only. The research offers some new information or a fresh point of view. The research design is fairly clear and logical. The research problems are challenging enough and the author justifies them; the research questions are derived from the research problems, but could have been better defined. The author applies methods mechanically but appropriately and mainly faultlessly. The analysis is reliable but could be more specific. The author pays attention to the ethical issues concerning his/her research, but the connection between this discussion and the research itself is unsound. The author presents his/her findings logically and discusses their meaning also in relation to his/her theoretical framework. The research answers the research questions, and the results have been placed within the theoretical framework. His/her reporting on the research is clear, but there may be minor shortcomings in the structure, style or language.

The special merits of the dissertation may compensate for possible deficiencies. The doctoral candidate presents and defends his/her research satisfactorily.

 

1 (sufficient)

The research demonstrates that the author has familiarised himself/herself with the research tradition in the field, but he/she places his/her research in this context insufficiently. The author uses the key theories and concepts of his/her specialism, but may have defined them insufficiently or applied them inconsistently. The research offers only limited new information. The research problems are not especially challenging or they are only loosely connected to the theoretical framework. The research design lacks clarity or consistency. The research questions are derived from the research problems, but the author formulates or defines them inadequately. There are shortcomings in his/her use of the methods. The analysis is reliable, but at times it is mechanical or inaccurate. The author acknowledges ethical considerations only on a general level. The author presents his/her findings logically, but discusses the meaning of the findings insufficiently. The research answers the research questions, but the author could have placed the findings in his/her theoretical framework better. His/her reporting technique has shortcomings in structure, language and/or style.

The dissertation has several deficiencies without adequate compensative merits. The doctoral candidate presents and defends his/her research in an acceptable manner.

 

0 (failed)

The dissertation has a considerable number of marked deficiencies. The author’s understanding of his/her research topic is superficial, and he/she discusses the topic in a way that is only loosely connected to the field. The theoretical framework of the research is too limited, too rambling and/or too extensive. The author fails to explain how his/her research is connected to previous research and theory. Also, the author does not justify his/her choice of methods and applies methods inconsistently. The analysis is not entirely reliable. The author presents his/her findings in a list-like or mechanical manner, and their connection to the theoretical framework is weak. The author does not discuss his/her findings on a general level, and he/she either fails to discuss ethical issues altogether or discusses them in a manner that is very brief and declaratory. The language of the dissertation is poor or unfinished.

The research does not meet the minimum criteria set for a dissertation in education.

 

Faculty of Management

Väitöskirjan hyväksymisestä ja annettavasta arvosanasta päättää tiedekuntaneuvosto. Väitöskirjaa arvosteltaessa käytetään asteikkoa: hyväksytty, hyvä ja erinomainen.

Hyväksytty

Väitöskirja täyttää johtamiskorkeakoulun väitöskirjalle asettamat vaatimukset. Sen tutkimustehtävä on selkeä ja kytketty tutkimuskirjallisuuteen, menetelmät soveltuvia ja tulokset johdonmukaisia. Työ osoittaa väitöskirjalta edellytettävää itsenäisyyttä ja tieteellistä kypsyyttä.

Hyvä

Väitöskirja on keskimääräistä parempi. Sen tutkimusongelma on omaperäinen ja perustuu uudenlaiseen tapaan lähestyä tutkittavaa ilmiötä. Analyysi on systemaattista ja pohtivaa. Tutkimus on kokonaisuudessaan eheä ja tasapainoinen. Sen tulokset ovat hyvin perusteltuja ja tutkimusalallaan tieteellisesti merkittäviä. Työ osoittaa tieteellistä kypsyyttä ja hyvää perehtyneisyyttä tieteenalan tutkimukseen.

Erinomainen

Väitöskirja on kaikilta osiltaan erityisen ansiokas. Tutkimustehtävä on rakennettu oivaltavasti, pohdinnoissa on tieteenfilosofista syvyyttä ja analyysi osoittaa tekijän perehtyneen kiitettävästi myös vaihtoehtoisiin tulkintoihin ja teorioihin. Työn tulokset ovat tieteenalan kannalta poikkeuksellisen merkittäviä. Työ osoittaa tekijän poikkeuksellista tieteellistä kypsyyttä ja kykyä uutta luovaan metodologiseen ja teoreettiseen ajatteluun. Väitöskirjaa on puolustettu erinomaisesti väitöstilaisuudessa. Väitöskirja kuuluu tasoltaan alansa kansainvälisesti 5 % parhaimmistoon.

Arvostelulautakunnan kirjallinen lausunto, jossa on annettu perusteltu esitys väitöskirjan arvosanasta, toimitetaan tiedekuntaneuvoston jäsenille ja väittelijälle samanaikaisesti. Ennen asian ratkaisua tiedekuntaneuvostossa väittelijälle on varattava tilaisuus vastineen antamiseen arvostelulautakunnan lausunnoista. Väittelijällä on oikeus pyytää väitöskirjan arvostelun siirtoa tiedekuntaneuvoston seuraavaan kokoukseen.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

Grading a Dissertation

The opponent submits a written evaluation of the dissertation and of how well the candidate defended himself/herself at the defence. Based on the evaluation, the Faculty Council decides whether the dissertation is accepted or not and gives it a grade.

Doctoral Degree Certificate

A student's supervisor(s) must approve the student’s courses, and the faculty must confirm that they are relevant to the degree and that the student has completed them. Once the student has successfully completed the required number of credits and defended his/her dissertation, the faculty awards the student a degree certificate.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

The opponent's written evaluation and the report of a dissertation grading committee will be delivered to the doctoral candidate after the public defence, at least five days prior to the Faculty Management Board meeting. The Management Board or the Dean will appoint a dissertation grading committee, which will then submit a grade proposal to the Faculty Management Board. The dissertation grading committee is made up of the supervisor(s), the custos, the opponent and at least one docent-level person who knows the field of the dissertation and the Faculty's doctoral education well, and acts as the chair of the grading committee. The dissertation grading committee will consider, for example, the preliminary examiners' reports, the opponent's report and the overall quality of the Faculty's dissertations.

The Faculty Management Board will decide whether the doctoral dissertation will be approved and how it will be graded. The doctoral candidate will be given the opportunity to respond to the opponent's report and the evaluation board's grade proposal. The student can ask that the grading of the dissertation be postponed to the next Faculty Management Board meeting for this reason. Before the dissertation is graded, the custos will evaluate how well the doctoral candidate defended him/herself.

Pass grades for the doctoral dissertation are approved and approved with distinction. For justified reasons, a particularly distinguished dissertation can be awarded the grade approved with distinction.

A petition for reconsideration of the grading of the dissertation must be submitted to the Faculty Management Board within 14 days of the announcement of the decision.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Doctoral Programmes in Health Sciences, Medicine and Epidemiology

The opponent's written report is the final evaluation of the dissertation's scientific value.

The grade awarded is either fail, pass or pass with honours. All examiners, i.e. preliminary examiners and the opponent, submit a grade proposal. The highest grade can be given to a dissertation whose scientific quality and significance are exceptionally high and in which the doctoral candidate's innovative contribution is especially significant. The Faculty Council will approve the dissertation based on the preliminary examiners' and opponent's statements and grade proposals. If the opponent and at least one preliminary examiner propose the highest grade, the Faculty Council may grant that grade.

The official opponent(s) must submit the written report to the Faculty Council and the doctoral candidate not later than two months after the public defence. If the candidate wishes to respond to a report, he/she is entitled to do so under Section 44 of the Universities Act (558/2009).

In his/her report, the opponent must also consider the remarks that arise in the discussion that is part of the defence proceedings.

Doctoral Programmes in Philosophy, History, Psychology and Logopedics and Social Sciences

The opponent appointed by the Faculty gives a written statement on the dissertation. The statement is given to the doctoral candidate at least 14 days (in exceptional cases 5 days) before the Faculty Council's meeting. The candidate may give a reply to the statement and, for this purpose, request for the assessment of the dissertation to be postponed until the Faculty Council’s next meeting.

The Custos gives a statement on the progression of the public defence of the dissertation.

The Evaluation Board appointed for the public defence of the dissertation proposes a grade for the dissertation. Before deciding on the proposed grade of the dissertation, the Evaluation Board hears the Custos, after which the Custos leaves the meeting. If the Evaluation Board is not unanimous, the differing opinions are recorded on the proposal.

The above-mentioned statements are first considered by the Postgraduate Committee. After this, the Committee gives a proposal for the approval of the dissertation to the Faculty Council.

The Faculty Council decides on the approval and the grade of the dissertation.

All the statements have to be submitted to the Faculty Office within a month of the date of the public defence. The candidate may request the Faculty Council to reconsider the assessment of the dissertation within 14 days of receiving the Faculty Council's decision. 

Doctoral dissertations are assessed using the following three-tier scale (from the lowest to the highest): Accepted, Very Good, Outstanding.

Degree Certificate

The degree certificate can be applied for with a paper form available in the Graduation section.